Overview

Join the Marcum Women’s Construction Group for a webinar, as we celebrate Women in Construction Week, designed to empower and inspire women to explore and excel in the construction trades. This engaging panel discussion will feature influential executive women in construction who have broken barriers and are redefining leadership in the industry.

  • Pathways to Prosperity: Learn how construction offers a robust career path leading to financial security, without the necessity of a traditional college degree. We will explore the economic advantages and job stability that the construction trades provide.
  • Executive Insights: Our panel of female executives in construction will share their personal success stories, the obstacles they’ve navigated, and the strategies that helped them rise to the top in a male-dominated field.
  • Breaking Barriers: Discover the barriers that women often face when entering the construction industry and the impactful ways they can overcome them. We will discuss the importance of resilience and the sense of accomplishment that comes from being a woman in construction.
  • Training and Advancement: Gain information about available training programs, apprenticeships, and educational opportunities that can help women build a strong foundation in construction skills and knowledge.
  • Inclusivity in Action: Understand why hiring women not only benefits the individuals but also leads to a more diverse, innovative, and successful workforce. We will discuss the positive impact of gender diversity in construction teams.

This webinar is for women looking to break into the construction industry, as well as for those already paving their way and seeking to advance their careers. It’s also an essential session for industry executives committed to fostering inclusivity and leveraging the talents of women in their companies.

Speakers

Moderator

Dawn Meeker

Partner, Advisory Services - Marcum LLP

Dawn Meeker is an experienced partner in Marcum’s Advisory and Consulting practice and a key player in the Financial Accounting and Advisory Services (“FAAS”) practice. Dawn leads the Connecticut office Managed Services offerings within the overall FAAS strategy practice. Under Dawn’s guidance, the Connecticut office Managed Services practice provides a complete solution of outsourced bookkeeping, financial close and reporting, and accounting advisory services to over a hundred companies across the region. In addition to full back office support, Dawn’s practice advises and assists clients on accounting software system implementations and migrations.

She has impressive knowledge within the construction industry due to her years of experience serving as the controller and vice president of several companies in the construction industry. Dawn has also previously held interim controller roles for many of her clients, where she provides daily accounting and financial operations support (from recording monthly transactions to budgeting, forecasting, and cash management) and comprehensive oversight including identifying opportunities and mitigation of financial risk throughout each phase of the growth process.

Panelists

Vincencia Adusei

President, VASE Management and VASE Development

Vincencia Adusei is the President of VASE Management and VASE Development. VASE is a full-service Construction Management firm and also develops its own properties. As President, Vincencia has been involved since 2007 in the development and construction of housing, municipal, educational, historic renovation, and commercial properties throughout Connecticut. With 15 years of experience, Vincencia has worked in every management capacity, including construction management, cost development, business management, and consulting services. She has participated in projects totaling over 5M SF of building and $1B in construction costs, with most being large-scale projects.

FULL BIO

Vincencia Adusei

President, VASE Management and VASE Development

Vincencia Adusei is the President of VASE Management and VASE Development. VASE is a full-service Construction Management firm and also develops its own properties. As President, Vincencia has been involved since 2007 in the development and construction of housing, municipal, educational, historic renovation, and commercial properties throughout Connecticut. With 15 years of experience, Vincencia has worked in every management capacity, including construction management, cost development, business management, and consulting services. She has participated in projects totaling over 5M SF of building and $1B in construction costs, with most being large-scale projects.

She is not your average Construction Manager. As one of few Women/Minority-owned Construction Management firms in the State, she is highly adaptable, professional, and results-driven. She has vast resources at her disposal to ensure project success. 

As a result of her community efforts, over 1,000 businesses, contractors, and agencies achieved more than $100 million in contract awards. She has received awards and commendations from the Home Builders Association, National Association of Women in Construction, Senator Richard Blumenthal, The Honorable Jim Himes, City of Bridgeport, Fairfield County Business Journal, Minority Inclusion Project, Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council, The WorkPlace, Connecticut Against Violence, Smart CEO— New York Chapter, Girls Scouts of America and more.

With headquarters in New Haven, VASE is currently ranked fourth in Power 25: Real Estate 2021 by New Haven Biz.

Schillivia Baptiste, PE, Assoc. DBIA

President & CEO - Laland Baptiste

Schillivia Baptiste is the co-founder and CEO of Laland Baptiste – a Construction and Program Management and Civil Engineering Firm. She has more than 20 years of experience in the civil engineering industry. She has particular expertise in site and land development. She has a strong understanding of the civil design process and has worked with clients in both the public and private sectors. Mrs. Baptiste is a New York and New Jersey licensed Professional Engineer. She has a bachelor’s degree from Polytechnic University and a master’s degree from Polytechnic Institute of New York University. She serves as President of the NY Chapter for Professional Women in Construction. She is an alumna and mentor of the ACE Mentor Program. She also serves on the International Board of Directors of the Polytechnic Alumni Association. She is a proud wife and mother of two boys. 

 

Kathleen Cloud

President and Co-Owner, M. Frank Higgins & Co., Inc.,

Kathleen Cloud is the President and Co-Owner of M. Frank Higgins & Co., Inc., one of the largest commercial flooring specialists in the region. M. Frank Higgins, a fourth-generation family business since 1952, is located in Berlin, CT, and has over 75 full time employees. At Higgins, Kathy promotes strong family and community values and helps create a company culture that honors service to the customer through relationship building, employee development through workshops and educational opportunities, and involvement in community service opportunities.

FULL BIO

Kathleen Cloud

President and Co-Owner, M. Frank Higgins & Co., Inc.,

Kathleen Cloud is the President and Co-Owner of M. Frank Higgins & Co., Inc., one of the largest commercial flooring specialists in the region. M. Frank Higgins, a fourth-generation family business since 1952, is located in Berlin, CT, and has over 75 full time employees. At Higgins, Kathy promotes strong family and community values and helps create a company culture that honors service to the customer through relationship building, employee development through workshops and educational opportunities, and involvement in community service opportunities. Kathy attributes her success to having a dedicated team of wonderful people, with her number one fan being her husband, Steve Cloud, Co-Owner of Higgins, all focused on customer satisfaction and teamwork. This support has been instrumental in helping Higgins continue its pattern of growth.

As a high school physics teacher for 26 years, Kathy’s love of learning remains a key emphasis. She works with the architectural and design community, along with her valued vendors, on help with flooring specifications and solutions.

Kathy received the 2019 President’s award from the Southern New England Floor Covering Association (SNEFCA), of which she is a member. In addition, Kathy also received a 2023 PWC Women of Achievement award. She is an enthusiastic member of STARNET, a commercial flooring partnership, where she co-leads the specifier and business development committee and sits on the advisory board. Kathy is also pleased to sit on the CREW CT board and co-lead the professional development committee.

Megan Girolamo

Vice President - Silktown Roofing, Inc.

Despite starting her career in corporate finance and accounting, it didn’t take long for Megan to decide her passion for success was destined to be gratified in the Commercial Roofing industry. Following in both her Grandfather and Father’s footsteps, Megan started her own business, Offshore Construction, Inc. in 2010. After a fulfilling 10 years in that role, touching every element of the business, she pivoted directions in 2020 and currently holds the position of Vice President at Silktown Roofing, Inc. Here Megan wears many hats, all of which focus on the importance of employee and customer relationships paving way to successful projects through impeccable craftsmanship, adaptability to the marketplace and trusted Owner, GC, Architect and Consultant relationships. Adding to her impressive portfolio, Megan was recently featured in CIOVIEWS publication, being recognized as one of the Top 10 Empowering Women Leaders of the Year in 2023, a testament to her influence and leadership in the industry.